Article Op-Ed

Douglasville settles over false arrest related to headscarf

Douglasville settles over false arrest related to headscarf

Author Amir Mia by

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ACLU Georgia

Nearly three years ago, a Georgia Native, Lisa Valentine was arrested and jailed for refusing to remove her head scarf for screening when entering the court room. Once she protested and attempted to leave, officers restrained and arrested her, forced her to remove her head covering, and jailed her for several hours. She sued the city in December 2010, and through the help of ACLU, the City of Douglasville has modified its policy. According to, Douglasville has adopted a screening policy allowing people who enter the courthouse wearing a religious headcovering the option to be screened in a private area by an officer of the same gender and ensures that people who wear religious headcoverings will not be forced to remove it in public and may wear their religious headcoverings in the courtroom.

Attorneys on the case include Joseph F. Hession and Podolsky of Carlton Fields, P.A.; Chara Fisher Jackson and Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia; Migdal and Lenora M. Lapidus of the ACLU Women's Rights Project and Mach of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

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